category Board of Directors

2015 Election Wrap Up

On Friday October 30th, Black Star Co-op concluded the voting period for the new Board of Directors and the non-profit organizations to support in the upcoming year. We had 3 great candidates running for 3 available seats on the Board of Directors, and a slate of 22 local non-profits.

Here are your newly-elected Directors:

  • Beth Beutel
  • Cole Noppenberg
  • Marcus Wilson

We look forward to working with the following organizations in 2016:

  • Planned Parenthood
  • Capital Area Food Bank
  • Safe Place
  • Austin Habitat for Humanity
  • Meals on Wheels and More

Congratulations, everyone!

The Board would like to thank everyone for running, and it would especially like to express its deep gratitude to the out-going directors: Scott Kelley and John Vinson. These Directors have greatly contributed to the Co-op during their service on the Board, and their contributions will have long-term positive effects on Black Star for years to come.

July 2015 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

DATE: July 19, 2015

LOCATION: Arts + Labor

CALL TO ORDER 12:05pm

ATTENDING DIRECTORS: Michael Handy, Charles Hueter, Scott Kelley, Annelies Lottman, Kenley Maddux, Cole Noppenberg, Joe Silva,and John Vinson

ATTENDING CO-OP STAFF: Dana

 

Public Comments

None.

 

Consent Agenda and Action Item Review

Dana said the Board needed to ratify the recent Board Staff Liaison election results where Nicole Reneaux (BSL) and Chris Byram (backup) were re-elected.  Annelies asked to remove the B.6 Board Committees report from the consent agenda because the report was not received.  Joe found a typo with the June minutes where WA was used instead of MA.  Kenley moved to accept the consent agenda with these three changes, Scott seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.

 

Proposed Policy Changes

The board had no comment on the changes proposed for B.4.3 Board Officers or B.5 Directors’ Responsibilities and Code of Conduct.  Ann and Scott suggested keeping the language from B.6.4 Board Committees.  The board discussed the language in the B and C policies in relation to committee authorityAnnelies thinks deleting C.4 is fine but wanted to go on the record that an uninteresting report is still worth having if it is useful or provides context later.  Scott moved to accept the proposals with the modification to keep B.6.4, Cole seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.

 

March Minutes Quick Vote

Kenley moved to adopt the March minutes, Michael seconded, Annelies and Scott abstained, vote passes 6-0-2.

 

B.4 Policy Monitoring Report

Kenley will follow up with his president’s responsibilities document in an e-mail the next week.  Scott offers to facilitate once he’s off the board.  Cole will work harder on the policy manual updates and Charles with stay connected with him on it’s progress. 

 

MISO Discussion

Kenley will adjust the factual corrections brought up by the WA in e-mail discussions.  The board discussed how to set expectations in the letter for member-investors; some directors were uncertain about sending a letter.  Michael moved to table the discussion until after the internal session on MISO financial details, Kenley seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  The board agreed to leave current language as-is for new language for future MISO programs.

 

Internal Session

Scott moved to enter internal session at 12:43, Kenley seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  The board discussed the D.6 Customer Treatment and Service policy monitoring report, the WA Operations Update, details on financing patio improvements, and specific MISO put-right requests.  Kenley moved to accept the D.6 report, Scott seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Kenley moved to authorize the WA to take out a loan not to exceed $30k, Annelies seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Kenley moved to approve a resolution from the board to the WA to process the three current requests in the order they were received, Ann seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Internal session ended at 1:49pm.

 

BREAK at 1:50

 

Member Extravaganza Wrap-up

The attending directors reported a good turnout.  Discussion at the extravaganza focused on running for the board.

 

Board Retreat Planning

Annelies suggests Schlitterbahn, Taos Co-op, Wheatsville, or Cooperation Texas and she will scout further.  The board’s topics will include patronage, board confidentiality, expansion, state of the Austin beer scene, and member engagement and the date was scheduled for August 8.  Joe and Charles offered to grab the morning’s sustenance.

 

Leadership Development Committee

Michael will take over the chair and Joe will remain involved.  The committee reported that the election schedule was firming up, a newsletter article will be drafted, and discussed opportunities for candidates to come to an orientation session.  Four members are interested in running for the three board slots open.

 

Kenley moved to adjourn at 2:33pm, Annelies seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.

Vote in the 2015 Co-op Elections!

It’s that time of the year again! Become an active member in the democratic process of your Co-op and vote in our Co-op’s elections.

The election for Black Star Co-op’s Board of Directors begins Wednesday, September 30th and continues through Friday, October 30th. Our Board elections are conducted by single transferable vote, so the ballot is extremely simple. Just rank the candidates in your order of preference. Co-op member-owners will be able to vote online, at the brewpub, or at the 5th anniversary party.

Meet the candidates online or in person at the 5th anniversary party and then cast your ballot online or in person at the brewpub.

You may rank the candidates in order of preference from 1-3, with 1 being the most preferential and 3 the least. However, you don’t have to rank them all; you can leave fields blank if you’re not comfortable ranking the candidate. The election will close, and all ballots will be counted by the end of the day Friday, October 30th and the results will be announced the following week. And don’t forget to vote for which community groups we support next year!

The following non-profits are currently on the slate for our support in 2016 based on suggestions submitted to us in the Spring Member-Owners Survey. If there’s an organization that you think deserves our Co-op’s support, there is a write-in option on the ballot. 

Community Support Organizations

Vote Online

2015 Board Candidate Statements

Hey Member-Owners, it’s Election Time! Every year you have the golden opportunity to vote on the directors who will represent your voice in the management of your Co-op. This year there are 3 open seats and 3 candidates running for the Board of Directors. Voting is one of the important ways you can participate in the democratic process. 

Below you’ll find the responses for the slate of candidates:

Elections begin September 30th and run through October 30th. You can vote on the Board of Directors and member-selected community support organizations here


Beth Beutel

1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Co-op?

As an employee and owner of Wheatsville and an owner and investor shareholder of Black Star, I’ve invested my labor and money in the cooperative community, and I am seeking an even greater way to be of service to the cooperative business model. Cooperatives democratize wealth and maintain our shared values while providing us the goods and services we need, and here one is, right in front of us, calling for us to both serve and benefit. I’ve benefited so much from Black Star’s wonderful food and service, and I’m ready to serve the co-op.

2. What goals would you like to see Black Star Co-op achieve in the next year?  Five years?

The marketplace for craft beer and locally-sourced food is growing fast, and I want to see Black Star grow its market-share in order to continue the growth of cooperatives as the people’s preferred mode of doing business. It is of the utmost importance to me that Black Star thrive and return value to its members above all else, including my own desire to drink High Esteem south of the river. I’d love to see Black Star continue to find new creative ways to grow, as they have by producing beer to sell to other local pubs.

3. What qualities and past experience do you have for serving on the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors?

I’m a dreamer who believes in the impossible and asks tough questions. From being employed as the Board Administrator at Wheatsville for four years, I’ve learned an incredible amount about policy governance (the model Black Star uses, along with many co-ops), refreshed my memory on reading financial statements which I originally learned as a business minor in college, and watched from a front row seat as a co-op board guided Wheatsville through an expansion. I’m excited to put all of that learning experience to the test serving the members of Black Star.

4. Name one way in which you’d like the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery to stand out from other local brewpubs.

It already does: the highly visible environmentally conscious move of composting paper towels in the bathroom, asking patrons to bus their own tables, having a LEED certified building, including members in the creation of beers, having a self-managed body of workers, and paying based on the Universal Living Wage calculator in the restaurant industry. Let’s be modest here: Black Star is the best pub in town as far as standing out by living its values. Since there are many other pubs and breweries with great food, great beer and great service, Black Star should continue its emphasis on lived values.

5. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Principle 4: Autonomy and Independence is my favorite principle lately, because it guides us in how to handle the increasing complexity of a growing institution: to always make decisions that will ensure democratic member control. As co-ops grow they often get an increasing number of financial obligations to other institutions, including other co-ops, and it is always of the utmost importance to ensure that the rights of the members are protected and that their interest in their business is paramount.

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Cole Noppenberg

1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Co-op?

I am interested in serving on the Board because I admire the democratic principles of this organization, our commitment to treating our employees with respect, serving quality food, and promoting responsible business practices in Austin.  I want to protect and expand these principles and commitments.

2. What goals would you like to see Black Star Co-op achieve in the next year?  Five years?

We’ve made immense progress getting our beers on tap throughout Austin. In the next year, I see us exporting in volume to other cities in Texas.  In five years, I want to see a drastic increase in production capacity to match the demand.

3. What qualities and past experience do you have for serving on the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors?

I’ve served the Board for the past year, and I’m asking you to re-elect me so that I can put that experience to work. I’ve been the Vice President of a cooperative residence, and I’ve acted as an engineer for Austin’s community radio station. My father founded a food cooperative, and my experience in startups and global corporations has given me a unique business perspective that I believe will benefit Black Star long-term.

4. Name one way in which you’d like the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery to stand out from other local brewpubs.

I’d like to see us continue to host charity events and offer a meeting place to new groups in Austin.  This is a way we can invest in the community with the resources we already have.  Ultimately, the more we can be a meeting place for the community, the more we can reach the folks who influence local business practice.

5. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Principle 7 is my favorite: Concern for Community.  Black Star directly benefits the community by paying a living wage to its employees and by serving the highest quality food we can.  But we also adhere to environmentally friendly practices, and we actively contribute to charities and cooperative organizations to improve the Austin community and beyond.

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Marcus WIlson

1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Co-op?

I love the Black Star Co-Op, what it is, and what it stands for. The Workers’ Assembly feels like family to me, and it gives me pride to know what fellow members have built here. I want to do all I can to protect and preserve what makes this place special.

2. What goals would you like to see Black Star Co-op achieve in the next year? Five years?

In the next year I’d like to increase member-owner participation by improving the consistency and quality of communication to the member-owners, and strengthening our feedback process. It’s disappointing when we almost have to start the member-owner meetings late because we couldn’t get a quorum, and I think this would help

solve the problem. In the next five years the Black Star pub will be ten years old and the Co-op will almost be old enough to drive. I would like to see the Co-op set a goal to expand distribution of kegs into the entire Austin metro area.

3. What qualities and past experience do you have for serving on the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors?

I’ve been on the Annual Review Committee for the past two years. I’ve also made it a point to attend board meetings as often as I could. I enjoy learning how and why things work. I am a regular patron of the pub, and I probably eat here more often than I do at my house.

4. Name one way in which you’d like the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery to stand out from other local brewpubs.

Black Star is more than a brewery or a bar. Key to that is effectively communicating to the Austin market how Black Star contributes to the community, how a living wage, health benefits, conscious environmentalism, and community involvement make Black Star not just another place to toss back a beer – but a place to grow our community in ways that benefit us all. That is what makes Black Star unique in our community, our market. That is what I think makes Black Star special.

5. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Democratic member control is my favorite. It’s why we have elections and how we, as member-owners can direct and be involved in our cooperative.

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Announcing Our 5 Year Anniversary Party

Can you believe it was 5 years ago that the world’s first cooperatively owned and worker self-managed brewpub opened its doors? To celebrate the occasion we’re throwing a giant anniversary party in the spirit of our old beer socials! Mark it down in your calendar:

When: October 17th, 2pm – 6pm
Where: Outside the Co-op on the plaza
What: Music, member only releases, food, beer, and fun

If you’re a Member-Owner and would like to volunteer for the party, please send an email to membership@blackstar.coop to let us know you’re available.

We can’t wait to see you!

In cooperation, 

Your Black Star Co-op

Resolution 22 – 2014 Member-Investor Share Dividend

Whereas, the expenses of the Co-op grew faster than income in 2014;

and Whereas, the Workers’ Assembly and its accountant concur that there are no net savings for 2014;

Therefore, it is resolved that there shall be no dividend paid on Member Investor Shares for 2014;

Furthermore, there shall be no money set aside for an education or general welfare fund;

and Furthermore, there shall be no rebate paid on member patronage for 2014. 

Adopted June 28, 2015.

Motion approved 2-0-6. 

June 2015 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Black Star Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

DATE: June 28, 2015

LOCATION: Arts + Labor

CALL TO ORDER 12:02pm

ATTENDING DIRECTORS: Steve Basile, Michael Handy, Charles Hueter, Scott Kelley, Annelies Lottman, Kenley Maddux, Cole Noppenberg, John Vinson

ATTENDING CO-OP STAFF: Nicole Renaux, Travis, Amy, Vinny, Mike, Justin, Rye, Rachel,

Public Comments

Amy is happy to be here! 

Consent Agenda and Action Item Review

Kenley moved to put policy monitoring reports A.3 Environmental Sustainability, C.4 Monitoring the Workers’ Assembly Performance, and D.5 Asset Protection on the consent agenda, Scott seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Kenley moved to strike internal session details from the May minutes and then accept then, Annelies seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Charles and Cole will finalize and turn in the minutes from March and April for board approval and public posting.  The board agreed to put the report required by Board Policy Bylaw B.5.9 in the annual Members’ Assembly report and will follow up on the process and details for this in the next board meeting.

MISO and Investment Share Changes Discussion

According to the Co-op Bylaws 4.9.4.1 Conflicts of Interest, Steve, Charles, Scott, Kenley, Cole, and John are conflicted directors who own member-investor shares.  The board agreed to not declare a MISO dividend for 2014.  Michael moved to announce this to the investors, Annelies seconded, they voted for it and the six conflicted directors abstained, vote passed 2-0-6.

Michael and Scott expressed concerns about new investor agreement language regarding how the board might set the interest rate.  The board talked about two possibilities within the 8% legal maximum: pegging it to a published benchmark or declaring it within a standard range at board discretion.  Steve thought the existing language was still very usable with just a few tweaks and Annelies stressed to consider how patronage rebates would impact dividends going forward.  Kenley moved to table the discussion to let the Finance Committee research it, (second not recorded), vote passed 8-0-0. 

Consent was reached that an investor bonus program would be an appropriate addition to the MISO program and an investor communication plan should be prioritized.  Discussion included crafting the board’s position on a letter, maintaining clear record keeping, and the overall feasibility of a bonus.  The board agreed to vote on the final language over e-mail.  John may own conflicted shares and will abstain per the bylaws if so.

B.5 Director Responsibilities and Code of Conduct Policy Monitoring Report

Joe submitted the report and it indicated two areas the board indicated non-compliance: B.5.6: “Individual Directors shall maintain confidentiality as needed to protect the Coop’s interests and financial viability” and B.5.9: “Directors will annually report to the member-owners on their adherence to this policy”.  The board talked about these issues, the need to define what they mean, and agreed to bring them up in a future meeting. 

BREAK for 12:45

Justin and Rie departed during the break. 

Internal Session

Kenley moved to enter internal session at 12:54 and to allow the Co-op staff to attend if they desired, Cole seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  The remaining staff attended the internal session.  The board discussed the D.5 Asset Protection policy monitoring report, the Workers’ Assembly Operations Update, pending MISO put-right requests, and financing patio improvements.  Scott moved to let the Workers’ Assembly respond to the outstanding put-right requests, Kenley seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Kenley moved to accept a bid to improve the patio improvements, Michael seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Kenley moved to adopt the D.5 report, Cole seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.  Internal session ended at 1:41.

Annelies and all remaining staff except Nicole departed after the internal session.

WA Meeting Wrap-up

The directors liked the format and how well the event worked.  Steve will summarize the post-its generated from the membership. In the future, the board agreed to have more interactive elements for the member-owners who attend.

Member Involvement

Kenley talked about a member’s concern about giving too much power to the WA compared to the board.  The directors talked about an increase in charitable opportunities to offer more member involvement.  A Member-Owner Extravaganza was scheduled June 29.

Officer Training and Backups

The board discussed compliance problems with the previous B.4 Board Officers policy monitoring report.  Scott reminded the board that the previous President, Erin O’Bryant, created a packet and list for these needs.  Kenley will find it and circulate it for continued board comment.

Kenley moved to adjourn at 2:17, Charles seconded, vote passed 8-0-0.

Why Pay A Living Wage?

A living wage is defined as the minimum income for an individual or family group necessary to meet basic needs. Living wage standards vary, but all are based to some extent on local housing and food costs. Many also include other needs such as clothing, retirement savings, education; some standards include items such as minimal vacation costs, insurance, professional fees, elder/child care. Most standards are based on a ~40 hour work week for a worker with no additional income. In the U.S., a comprehensive living wage for any particular community is usually several dollars per hour higher than the pitiful federal Minimum Wage: $7.25 (imagine working for an hour, doing just about any kind of work, and after that hour you’ve built up enough income to possibly afford a fully loaded Starbucks beverage). The living wage movement aims to establish for particular localities a more reasonable and equitable minimum wage, and it turns out that doing so is a benefit to all concerned.

For most of U.S. history, the predominant business model and means of profit-taking have relied on state and federal policies which lock workers in predatory low wages. Implicitly or explicitly, we are told that business — and thus our entire economy — can only flourish by keeping wages low so that businesses can grow and be ever more profitable for investors and management. That accumulated wealth will then surely tickle down to the wage earners, at least when management/investors feel so inclined, or more likely when they are compelled to do so by workers and their advocates. Wage advocacy and politics is, however, another one of those areas that broadly fluctuates in waves and depends on the varying efficacy of workers advocacy groups, the tolerance of workers, and sometimes simply the good graces of management and investors. Instilling fear of job loss often plays a role in keeping wages low. In fact, one effect of the federal Minimum Wage is a reminder of “how great you’ve got it making $8.00 or even $7.75 an hour.” Workers’ rights and pay fairness advances by two-steps-forward, one-backwards (sometimes vice versa), but it seems that strides are currently being made.     

The effects of paying workers less than a true living wage are serious and contribute primarily to many of the ills facing U.S. society. A worker paid the minimum wage of $7.25/hour, or any wage below a living wage, cannot possibly afford basic necessities without assistance. This creates problems not only for workers, but for businesses and the local economy. One commentator (Fred Lundgren, a radio talk show host) recently said:   “The sinister trap of permanent poverty level wages is snapping shut on a growing number of Americans each year, causing the middle class to evaporate into poverty before our eyes, while these same Americans get blamed by conservatives and libertarians for falling into the trap.”

Along with the Occupy movement and the related ongoing period of enlightenment following the Great Recession, the idea of paying workers a true living wage and/or a reasonable minimum wage has become part of the daily news. Black Star’s wage policy has been part of that positive publicity since its opening almost 5 years ago. Along with the co-operative idea that distant and idle investors should not profit from local business activities, payment of a living wage is an important element of the democratization of our economy. From day-one, Black Star’s Ends Policies have included the following:

A.4 Black Star Co-op will provide an empowering environment for all workers through worker self-management. Specifically:

A.4.1 Pay a living wage and provide excellent benefits to all workers.

A.4.2 Promote worker retention.

A.4.3 Maintain a hospitable working environment.

A.4.4 Encourage high-quality work from our workers.

Part of Black Star’s success and its ability to keep high quality workers in the Workers Assembly relates directly to our dedication to fair worker pay and treatment. Members and patrons reviewing the service and quality of food and beverage at Black Star consistently praise our workers and rate them highly. WA members similarly rate the working environment at Black Star very highly. Not surprisingly, this seems to be a common result of worker fair treatment in any business. 

Studies have demonstrated the benefits to a business of paying a true living wage, many of which are amply shown at Black Star, such as the following: 

  • Paying a living wage leads to increased worker morale, worker health, and quality of service, as well as lower absenteeism, turnover rates, and recruiting and training costs.
  • According to a Fiscal Policy Institute Study, states with higher minimum wages experience more small business growth, both in number of employees and in number of establishments, than states with lower minimums.
  • Raising wages is affordable — employers are able to absorb the costs of a wage increases through higher worker productivity and lowered administrative and training costs, not to mention the possibility of reducing excessive management costs.
  • Moreover, multiple surveys have shown that most Americans are willing to pay more for living wage produced products and services.

There are also many distinct benefits inuring to the local community from paying a living wage: 

  • Having a living wage work force and related efforts to end poverty and inequity moves all citizens toward a more just, sustainable and engaged local economy.
  • Living wages reduce overall worker inequality by strengthening low-wage workers’ bargaining power in the job market.
  • Living wages enable working people to become self-sufficient and rely less on social services. Today, millions of full-time workers and their families receive food assistance and other forms of charity. Federal and state tax-based assistance for full-time workers is both counterintuitive and counterproductive — only a fraction of every tax dollar allocated to social services directly assists recipients of aid, while 100% of wages do.
  • Wage increases accomplish the above but do not lead to job loss. Repeated studies, usually relating to minimum wage increases, have failed to find any systematic, significant job loss associated with federal/state minimum wage increases. In fact, following most such increases, the low-wage labor market performed better than previously in that unemployment rates dropped, family income increased, poverty rates decreased and workers and their families were generally happier.
  • Living wages generally stimulate the economy through increased consumer spending and the money multiplier effect.
  • Businesses can demonstrate greater corporate social responsibility, and benefit from an increase in public recognition as leaders of the worker fairness movement.

As a co-op and a worker self-managed business, it is part of Black Star’s “DNA” to pay a living wage. The experience at Black Star has shown that this decision has absolutely been positive and broadly beneficial.

Serve Your Co-op – Run for the Board of Directors

Have you ever wondered how you can be even more involved at our Co-op? If so, have you considered running for the Board of Directors? Running for the Board is an opportunity to bring your enthusiasm, ideas, and leadership to the Black Star Co-op.

As a democratically-governed cooperative, electing our own Board of Directors is one of the benefits of being a Member-Owner. If you would like to help the Co-op by crafting policies and principles, representing the best interests of the Member-Owners, and collaborating with the Workersʼ Assembly, then I highly encourage you to run for one of the three open Board positions this year. No prior experience is required.

To run for the Board, you must first be a fully invested Member-Owner. If you havenʼt yet paid your balance, you can do so online or at the Co-op. Second, please download the Election Packet here. It contains information about the election, important dates, candidate questions for the website, and the Declaration of Candidacy youʼll need to sign and return to the Co-op. Next, you will need to have attended at least one Black Star Board meeting within the last year. The last available Board meeting to attend is Sunday, September 19 from noon until 3pm at 7010 Easy Wind Dr., Ste. 210 in the Midtown Commons development.

Finally, you will need to attend one of the following Candidate Orientation Sessions at Black Star. Please email leadershipdevelopment@blackstar.coop which orientation session you will be attending so that the Board members will be on the look out for you.

Wed, Aug 19 8:00 PM
Sun, Aug 23 2:00 PM
Tues, Aug 25 6:00 PM
Sat, Aug 29 2:00 PM

If you have any questions about running for the Board of Directors or are interested in attending a Board meeting, please contact leadershipdevelopment@blackstar.coop.

March Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

DATE: March 22, 2015

LOCATION: Arts + Labor 

CALL TO ORDER 12:02

ATTENDING DIRECTORS: Michael Handy, Charles Hueter, Kenley Maddux, Cole Noppenberg, Joe Silva, John Vinson

ATTENDING CO-OP STAFF: Andy Martinec, Nicole Renaux, and Eric Swensen

OTHERS ATTENDING: Marcus Wilson

 Consent Agenda and Action Item Review

Kenley asked for agenda item changes on pushing worker remuneration discussion to April, added discussion of Lori Kline’s share repurchase, added discussion of Cole’s KOOP donation idea, added discussion of Austin Cooperative Business Association, and added discussion of the annual report. Joe moved to accept the amended agenda, Michael seconded, vote passed 6-0-0.

 Systems Audit Committee Updates

Cole moved to accept updates without changes, no seconds. Nicole and Kenley explained some of the changes to visitors. Kenley moves to accept with syntax and typo corrections, Michael seconded, vote passed 6-0-0.  Cole will help with cleanup.

Board Training

Nicole handed out income statements, balance sheets, and explained the items on them and how they are used to analyze the coop’s operations.  Annelies (via Kenley) and Joe suggested brewing and pub team training.

Kenley moved to go into internal session at 12:46, Charles seconded, vote passed 6-0-0.  Internal Session ends at 1:12

BREAK at 1:12pm.  Eric left during break

Vision Discussion

The board discussed the grid of ideas from the board retreat in January.  Significant discussion followed on how to prioritize the vision items and who would steward the items to completion. 

 Member-Owner Extravaganza

Steve will be asked to supply a topic by e-mail.  Michael, John, Joe were planning to go.  Michael will contact Steve for details and assistance.

Spring Members’ Assembly Meeting

Nicole said the consultant suggested the Annual Report be utilized as a marketing tool in addition to informative and she listed out a variety of ideas for articles.  Directors and staff then volunteered and suggested who could write them.

Austin Co-op Summit

Black Star will be well-represented with directors and staff.  Kenley moved to have the board vote for all candidates on the ballot, Cole seconded, vote passed 5-0-1, John abstained.

 Board Process Discussion

Kenley related the consultant’s opinion on the board’s minutes and the board discussed aiming for concise records of board action.  Nicole discussed how writing articles has worked so far and the board talked about ways to improve the process.  No action was reported on extravaganza and facilitator search.  More board action to-dos will be included in future agendas and the board liked the revised scheduling process.

 Kenley moved to adjourn at 2:36pm, Michael seconded, vote passed 6-0-0.